You’ve put so much into your café, restaurant or small business and the current crisis is threatening its very survival. There are so many Australian hospitality, tourism and small businesses across many sectors, who are hurting because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns. This is unprecedented and it’s far from business as usual. The good news is that there is a plethora of government support packages and grants available to help businesses recover and stimulate growth. Many of the grants could be used to help rebuild your digital infrastructure, co-investing or reaching new customers. Where there has been enough of a business decline, we’ve seen many brands leverage the funds available to engage our services to plan for the future.  Our Direct to Consumer Marketing Manager Emily McCutcheon, explores a range of these grants and shares some insights on how to claim for your business below.

We’re on the record as saying that where you can afford it, a downturn is actually the time to invest in your marketing. This is particularly relevant to build your brands digital footprint to reach new customers and can actually result in an increase in market share longer term due to the higher Share of Voice (SoV). Advertising costs are down slightly with those investing seeing good click through and conversion rates.

Federally, there are a range of financial assistance packages from cashflow boosts, tax concessions and ATO administrative relief, asset write-off and more that depending on the level of downturn that your business has suffered might just give you some additional cash to set you back on the path to success.

In the tourism and hospitality industry, the State governments hope to foster the growth of many small business enterprises through a variety of loans and grants.


The Queensland government is offering digital grants, co-investment, regional events grants, indigenous business support and more. If you’re in regional Queensland there’s up to $100 million being made available to deliver a second round of grants, with half of this funding specifically earmarked for regional small businesses located outside of South East Queensland. Check out the QLD government website for more information.

New South Wales

Did you know that for businesses in NSW who are looking to up-scale or need financial assistance for marketing as they re-open the state government is offering this small business covid-19 recovery grant worth up to $3,000. It’s a great way to put a plan in place, audit your digital presence and think about how you can reach new customers.

The grant could be used for:

  • fit-out changes and temporary physical changes (for example, plastic barriers at checkouts)
  • staff training and counselling
  • business advice and continuity planning
  • cleaning products and additional cleaning services
  • additional equipment necessary to comply with social distancing or other public health measures
  • marketing, communications and advertising
  • digital solutions (for example, e-commerce or business websites).

This grant can only be used for purchases of eligible expenses made from 1 July 2020, and only where no other government support is available. Find out more information here.

Australian Capital Territory

In Canberra, hospitality businesses will have fees on outdoor dining and liquor licenses waived. A range of other business fees have been frozen at 2020 levels for the future. Cafés, restaurants and takeaways can apply for a one-off, $1,000 rebate on their electricity bills in the first quarter of 2020-21.  Other relief packages are also available.


In Victoria, a raft of different financial relief opportunities are in place including:

Did you know that applications will open in August for Round 2 of the Melbourne Small Business grants ? Valued at up to $30,000 for support in start-up, business expansion and export for Melbourne based businesses.

Whist the Business Support Fund grant is now closed for new applications, the Premier, Daniel Andrews, has just announced a further $5,000 to support eligible businesses who have already received partial payment due to the impacts of COVID-19 on their business.  Eligible businesses will need to submit another application. For FAQs see the Victorian Government website.

Find out what your business may be eligible for here.

South Australia

GrantsAssist is the SA government portal for all the available grants. In hospitality and tourism, liquor license laws have been reviewed and holders can apply for an extension to their footprint to allow for social distancing.

Some local councils are also offering support packages for sole trader and small businesses in their local area. It’s worth hunting around to see what might be available.

Western Australia

In WA, tourism businesses can apply for the Tourism Survival Grant with packages from $25,000 to $100,000 if they are able to demonstrate extreme business hardship.


A large number of cafés, restaurants and bars in Tasmania have already accessed the generous grants through the Tasmanian government’s social and economic support processes. Free financial counselling services are available which can help guide business owners through the support available. This counselling can be accessed by emailing the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (

Note that these grants all have eligibility criteria and there are cut off dates. The information is current as of July 2020, but it’s worth checking the criteria and doing your research for the best chances of success.

If you have applied for a grant or are unsure where to start or what you’d use the marketing funds for? Contact us for more information and look at ways that Mastermind can help your business thrive.

Image credit: Victorian Government